This is a fanfiction by Doughnut Gunso.
Hinagiku sensed no movement from Mikado, so she thought that it was safe for her to treat her wound. She tore a small part of her skirt out, wrapped the wound on her forehead, and tied the cloth at the back of her head. She had almost completely stopped bleeding, as Wooden Masamune had also amplified the ability of her body to heal. She rubbed her eyes again with her sleeves, and as some of the clogged blood was brushed off, she was finally able to open her eyes. The first ray of moonlight hurt her eyes a bit, though.
She went to check on Kyosuke, who was still pinned on the tree and without consciousness. Hinagiku moved closer and heard him breathing, and she was relieved – he was alive, at least. “I’d better let him lie down,” she thought. She took Wooden Masamune off him, and gently helped him to lie on the ground. Then, she heard someone clapping hands, and she turned around to see it was Mikado.
“Good,” said the old man. “Well done, Student Council President. Now, let us finish this job.”
Hinagiku stared at him. “What do you mean?” she asked, although she knew exactly what he had meant.
“Oh, of course you know what I mean,” said Mikado sweetly. “I want you to open the path to the Royal Garden for me.”
Hinagiku looked up at the sky and let out a small laugh. “What makes you think I will listen to you?” she asked as she stared at him again. “My parents are safe, Fukada-kun is defeated, I have Shirosakura with me and you are not armed. There is nothing left for you to threaten me.”
“I am not threatening you, Hinagiku,” said Mikado, grinning. “I am inducing you.”
“What do you mean?” asked Hinagiku for the second time, but this time she did not know what he had meant. “What’s the point of inducing me, if I am going to die after opening the path?”
“You don’t have to be the one who dies, Hinagiku,” said Mikado, grinning even more broadly. “It is true that in order to open the path, one human life has to be sacrificed, but it doesn’t have to be the wielder of the sword.”
“What – ”
“In the past,” said Mikado, interrupting Hinagiku, “the people who opened the path to the Royal Garden sacrificed the lives of criminals. It was seen as the most honourable execution for these criminals, and the most sacred ritual for the Royal family members. Shirosakura has been called the Sword of Justice, because it did justice by executing criminals.”
Hinagiku felt her whole body was shaking. She suddenly had the urge to throw Shirosakura away, but she forced herself to stop after the sword sent her another warm pulse. It seemed like the sword was pleading to her not to throw it away – for the moment, at least.
Mikado had no idea what Hinagiku was thinking about. “You can, therefore, imitate those Royal family members, and execute the ‘criminal’ before you,” he said, and he pointed a finger at Kyosuke. “I think this boy certainly qualifies as a criminal for you, Hinagiku.”
“No, that would be…”
“Why not?” demanded Mikado, who interrupted Hinagiku again. “Think about what he has done to you and to your parents. Are you going to forgive him so easily?”
“No, but I – ”
“Do you not think that he deserves punishment?”
“Well, that – ”
“THEN DO IT!” shouted Mikado. “Kill him as he has been doing bad things to your family. Kill him to do justice with the sword you are holding. Kill him to make you equals with the Royalties in the past! Kill him because he is not that far from death, actually!”
“W – what do you mean?” asked Hinagiku, who paid no attention to anything but the last sentence.
“I have already told you that Black Camellia would completely engulf the soul of this boy,” said Mikado. “By destroying Black Camellia, you have also destroyed his soul. He is now a soulless body, and it is you who turned him into this!”
“W – what are you talking about?” asked Hinagiku, horrified. “I didn’t… I didn’t…”
“Yes, you have,” said Mikado, raising his voice again. “You have basically killed him already, so why don’t you end his life and give him a more comfortable death?”
Hinagiku shook her head fiercely. “No, no! I didn’t… I didn’t kill him! Shirosakura told me…”
“Whatever Shirosakura has said, it must have been lying to you!” demanded Mikado. “Do you think that this sword, which has been executing criminals for ages and ages, would show any mercy to a boy like Fukada? It wanted you to help it kill him, so it fooled you!”
“I didn’t kill Fukada-kun!” shouted Hinagiku very fiercely. “He is alive and he will wake up! He will wake up for sure!” She dropped Shirosakura, sat before Kyosuke, grabbed him by his arm and began shaking him. “Wake up, Fukada-kun! Wake up!” she said, and as he remained motionless, Hinagiku had become more and more desperate. “Wake up… Wake up…” Tears dropped from her eyes as she began crying.
Suddenly, Shirosakura began to glow again, and it floated slowly towards Hinagiku. “Hold me,” Hinagiku could hear the sword speaking to her. “I can save this boy.”
Hinagiku hesitated. She was facing a sword which was full of criminals’ blood. It was on the sword’s suggestion that she decided to destroy Black Camellia, turning Kyosuke into a body without consciousness. She was not sure if she should believe in the sword again, after she had heard Mikado talking about the “sacrifices” it had made in the past.
“Trust me, Hina,” said the sword gently. “I know what I have done, and I know what I am doing. I will not make you guilty of harming this boy.”
Hinagiku recalled all the times she and Shirosakura fought together as partners. It had always been loyal to her, obeying her every order, and it actually aided her in punishing Hayate for his stupidity. It had always been her good friend, and in her hands the sword had never shown a hint of cruelty. Maybe she had to believe in the sword one more time. Maybe it was Mikado who was lying…
Slowly, very slowly, Hinagiku reached out and grabbed Shirosakura. “Thank you, Hina,” whispered Shirosakura, and it glowed most brightly – much brighter than it ever had been. “Thank you for trusting me, even after hearing what that old man has told you. I have been sacrificing people’s lives for other people, now is the time for me to make my own sacrifice for this boy, and also for you, Hina!”
And it exploded. Shirosakura reduced itself to tiny pieces, and fell down like falling snow. Some of the pieces landed on Hinagiku, and some landed on Kyosuke. Hinagiku watched with her eyes wide open. She could not believe what she was seeing: Kyosuke was shaking fiercely, as if he was struggling to regain consciousness. He finally opened his eyes, looked at Hinagiku, and whispered “Kazami…”
“Fukada-kun!” cried Hinagiku. She could not control herself. She had no idea why she did it, but she grabbed his right hand with both her hands and placed her forehead on it. “You are alive! You are alive! Thank God, you are alive!”
Kyosuke blushed slightly as he felt the warmth from Hinagiku. “I am sorry, Kazami, for what I have done to you.” He sighed as he reflected on what he had done so far. “I am a fool,” he added.
Hinagiku made no comments. It was not time for judging Kyosuke.
“Goodbye, Hina,” there came the voice of Shirosakura through the air. Hinagiku looked up and listened to the sword. “It has been my honour to serve you, a girl who shows her love to the ones who love her, to the ones who abandon her, to the ones who hurt her, and to a sword which is accused of deceiving her. I have never seen a girl with so much power of love, and you should never lose such power, Hina…”
The voice went dead as all the pieces of Shirosakura had fallen down. It had truly gone.
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” cried Mikado. Hinagiku let Kyosuke go, and turned to see that Mikado was shaking with fury. “Where is it? Where is Shirosakura? Where is my sacrifice?” he demanded.
“Shirosakura sacrificed itself to save Fukada-kun,” said Hinagiku calmly. “And it saved me. Thanks to it, I don’t have to take up the guilt as a murderer.”
“But what about me?” demanded Mikado. He had become so angry that he was no longer able to control himself. “I have to go to the Royal Garden, but you have destroyed the key! Nobody is giving me a chance! Why? WHY?!!” He actually began to sound like a cry-baby.
“May I ask why you are so obsessed with going to the Royal Garden?” asked Hinagiku. “What makes you think that it is worth a human’s life, and the happiness of a family, for you to go to the Royal Garden?”
“It is the happiness of my family!” shouted Mikado. “I want to find clues to get my daughter back in the Garden!”
“Your daughter… you mean Nagi’s mother? What happened to her?”
“She…” began Mikado, but as he began to regain control of his emotions, he realized that there was no point talking about it to Hinagiku. Not when she had lost the key to the Royal Garden, anyway. “There is nothing I can tell you,” he snapped and turned away. “Now go! Get out of my sight! I don’t want to see you anymore!”
Hinagiku didn’t move as she considered Mikado for a moment. She did not know why, but somehow she pitied the old man. “I don’t know what happened to your daughter, but speaking of family happiness, your family is awaiting your return, Director Sanzen’in,” she said, although she was not sure if Mikado was listening at all. “Hayate-kun, Maria-san and Nagi… you still have a family! Go back to them, couldn’t you?”
Mikado did not respond. It didn’t seem like he had heard Hinagiku at all.
Hinagiku shook her head. She did not have time for this old man, as there was something more important for her to do. “Fukada-kun, I need your hand,” she turned to Kyosuke and said. “Can you help me?”
Kyosuke smiled weakly as he slowly rose to his feet. “Whatever you ask, Kazami,” he said.
Hayate was in the ball room, watching the girls dancing in pairs. It should have been an enjoyable experience, Hayate was not happy at all. He was angry that he was not able to fight the four SPs, and that he was not able to go and help Hinagiku. He felt a rock was sitting on his heart, and it was getting larger and larger, suffocating him.
He became so frustrated that he began pacing around the room. He suddenly felt his cellphone vibrating, and he quickly picked up the phone.
“Hello? I am Hayate.”
“Hayate-kun, it’s me.”
“Hinagiku-san?” said Hayate, and he was so relieved to hear her voice that he felt the rock on his heart had almost completely vanished. Almost. “How is everything going on?”
“It’s fine on the whole, but I guess I need some help here. Could you please come to the main gate?”
“O – okay.”
Hayate arrived at the main gate. To his surprise, there was no SP stopping him anymore. He saw a taxicab stopping at the gate. The door swung open, and four people emerged very slowly. Hayate blinked as he saw Hinagiku and Kyosuke were both carrying a very skinny person: Kyosuke carried a man, and Hinagiku a woman.
Hayate moved forward to meet Hinagiku, quite unable to hide his delight of seeing her come back. He could almost say that he missed her dearly.
“Welcome back, Hinagiku-san!” he said, smiling brightly. He had a lot of things he wanted to talk about, but the first thing which came up to his mind was a greeting. He could not think of anything better to express how happy he was for her return.
Hinagiku let in the warmth, the joy, and the peace of the greeting. After the ordeal she had tonight, she was very grateful to receiving this greeting. It made her feel so good to be back – to her friends, to her sister, and to Hayate.
“Thank you, Hayate-kun,” she replied, beaming equally brightly. “I am back.”